With COVID-19 numbers through the roof, concert organizers, country stars and fans alike have all been nervously waiting for the bottom to fall out. It seems like only a matter of time before in-person concerts are once again put on hold, so when Tennessee’s massive Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival announced yesterday (August 31) that it would not happen this weekend after all, that wasn’t so shocking.
But the reason for the cancellation? Total bummer.
It wasn’t COVID-19 or even the delta variant that brought down Bonnaroo — which had already been postponed from June of 2020 to June of 2021, and then early September. It was an old nemesis concertgoers had nearly forgotten about … the rain. Organizers said the massive amount of water dumped on the Manchester, Tennessee, festival grounds by Tropical Depression Ida was just too much to deal with, so they were officially throwing in the towel.
“We are absolutely heartbroken to announce that we must cancel Bonnaroo,” the festival said via Twitter. “While this weekend’s weather looks outstanding, currently Centeroo is waterlogged in many areas, the ground is incredibly saturated on our tollbooth paths, and the campgrounds are flooded to the point that we are unable to drive in or park vehicles safely.
“We have done everything in our power to try to keep the show moving forward, but [mother nature] has dealt us a tremendous amount of rain over the past 24 hours, and we have run out of options to try to make the event happen safely and in a way that lives up to the Bonnaroo experience,” the statement went on.
The storm, which slammed in to Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane earlier in the week, dumped more than three inches of rain on the area. While not known as a country music festival, Bonnaroo was scheduled to feature performances by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Breland, Hailey Whitters, Morgan Wade, Niko Moon, and a special edition of the Grand Ole Opry, among other acts. Organizers wrapped up their sad announcement by looking forward, writing “WE WILL SEE YOU ON THE FARM IN JUNE 2022!”
Tickets are being refunded, but with such short notice, many festival fans had already begun arriving in the area.
Does anyone else get the feeling that, sometimes, 2021 is even worse than 2020? We just can’t catch a break.